Putin’s “Sovereign Internet” is no longer just defensive, but an offensive mechanism that aims to silence Russian independent media and block global social media platforms, say analysts Irina Borogan and Andrei Soldatov. Now, as the window for free expression narrows, the West must do more to keep independent information flowing in Russia, they write in The New Iron Curtain, a report from the Center for European Policy Analysis:
Western policy should focus on improving export controls on technologies that could strengthen this censorship and surveillance. Deep Packet Inspection technology should not be sold to Russia. Global platforms led by Google, Facebook, and Twitter should remain available for Russians to share uncensored news and political developments. Western powers should make it a priority to keep global platforms available in Russia.
Given Putin’s ever-present paranoia and insecurity, the assault on the Internet was inevitable, Borogan and Soldatov suggest. Now, as he wages war in Ukraine, he wants to suppress it completely. He must not be allowed to succeed. RTWT